January 12, 2021 - Uruguay and Parana Rivers

Uruguay and Parana Rivers

On January 7, 2021, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of the Uruguay River and Paraná River as they flow into the large estuary, the Rio de la Plata.

Situated between Uruguay (north) and Argentina (south), the Rio de la Plata receives fresh water from both the Paraná and Uruguay River. The wide delta and swamps of the that house the muddy course of the Paraná River can be seen cutting across the image, flowing from the northwest to meet the Rio de la Plata. South America’s second longest river, the Paraná drains much of the southeastern part of the continent and supplies three-quarters of the fresh water that enters the estuary. The remainder arrives through the Uruguay River, which can be seen flowing into the estuary from the northeast. Topsoil running off agricultural fields upstream and flowing into these rivers, especially the Paraná, makes up much of the heavy sediment load dumped into the Rio de la Plata.

The gray pixels on the western shore of the Rio de la Plata mark Buenos Aires, the capital of and largest city of Argentina. The city was home to more than 15 million people in 2020. The tans and greens along the rivers are agricultural land.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 1/7/2020
Resolutions: 1km (37.9 KB), 500m (153 KB), 250m (491.9 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC